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What’s on My Nightstand: Friday Night Edition; plus, my Dad’s gardening journal, circa 1966-1968

September 8th, 2017

Nothing like being in the middle of moving to make me realize, man. I have too much stuff. But I keep thinking, tripping down memory lane, and something will randomly come to mind. A day or two later, the item will pop up. It’s a bit odd, but I like it. The baby quilts my aunties made when the kids were born; my grandma’s books; my ice skates, lol.

I’m always reading five or 10 books at a time, bad habit/great habit. But when I’m stressed? Like when I’m moving? omg omg the table is covered. Here’s a sampling:

* “Heartburn,” by Nora Ephron (for the 20th time). So good, only gets funnier, and more poignant, every time I read it.
* “Skinny Dip,” by Carl Hiaasen (yes, yes, yes)
* “My Dad Lives in a Downtown Motel,” by Peggy Mann (great “New York kid” book about a boy who is struggling with his parents’ split. And yes, those of you with 1970s memories, it was an ABC Afterschool Special. Why don’t the networks get rid of some of the reality shows and bring back the ABC Afterschool Specials, stat.)
* “Saving Tarboo Creek: One Family’s Quest to Heal the Land,” by Scott Freeman
* “Spanish Now! Level 1″ (Barron’s)

Uh. Yeah. So tomorrow, I’ll write some real book reviews, y’all. Because it’s almost fall, and that means new titles and lots of them.

I was thinking of my dad’s gardening journal, as I was sorting and packing my gardening books. The entries written out so neatly in his handwriting. Two days later… found it. :) It’s in a brown leather binder from Portland State College (now Portland State University), his alma mater and mine. Very cool. There are a few pages of overlooked math notes in the back of the book. In the front, notes about our yard. He and my mom bought our house in 1966, when I was two. (Math!)

There’s a little N and some doodles in the front of the notebook. N for Nancy, I’m assuming. It’s possible, anyway.

And this entry:

“Roses: Prune from mid-February to mid-March, but weather permitting around March 1 is good time, as there could be some freezing around last of February.” etc.

Now the cool stuff… Well, to me anyway. The roses are gone now, but I remember them all in my head. Next house I get? I’m planting these exact ones:

“Planted : Feb. 5, 1966 Tropicana (Orange and Red). Twins’ gift for new home. Grown: Oregon” (The twins were his aunts, my great-aunties. I loved them so much! Loved, loved, loved.)

Planted: Feb. 6, 1966 Mister Lincoln (Red) Price $3.50, Grown: Texas

Planted: Nov. 6, 1966 Katherine T. Marshall Rose (pink, shaded with salmon) Price $1.29, Grown: Texas

Planted: Nov. 6, 1966 Lowell Thomas (lemon-chrome yellow) Price: $1.29, Grown Texas

Planted: Nov. 6, 1966 Talisman (scarlett-orange and rich yellow) Price: $1.29, Grown: Texas

Planted: June 30, 1968 Mt. Shasta (white blooms with delicate green petal base) Price: $3.00

Planted: June 30, 1968 Orchid Masterpiece (light purple) Price $3.00

Then details on the three pots of Pink Mediterranean Heather he planted, and the juniper, and the rhody (Unique Pale Yellow Tinged Peach)…

So many happy memories. Looking forward to making more. Which do I love more, plants or books? It’s a tie.

xo

wm

took back my yard today

June 17th, 2013

Purple cluster

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

oh, hallo, yard, how have you been?

you are very beautiful, yard, but I notice you’ve developed a weed problem. here, let me help. oh, hallo, asters. keep growing. hallo, snake, are you dead? no? just dehydrated, eh? here’s a saucer or 4 of water for you. you’re welcome.

Roses of Sharon! I was hoping to see you. clover, goodbye. transplanting Shasta daisies, deadheading the roses. pulling up more pop-ems and picking fresh blueberries, raspberries and strawberries.

hi, summer. i love you.

wm

and now, how about a little song?

snake in the garden

May 27th, 2013

My buddy. He lives in the iris patch.

This year's snake

This year's snake

This year's snake

(Photos by Steve Rawley)

love this

November 26th, 2012

From our garden… raspberries in November ;)

Fall crop

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

photo of the day + 33 Ways to Stay Creative

July 7th, 2012

Watermelon boat

33 Ways to Stay Creative

Also, I planted Himalayan Honeysuckle, banana plants and lilies-of-the-valley in my yard this weekend. Also chicks-and-hens. And two melon plants. I think that’s all. Oh! And we transplanted more daisies that walked on over here from the neighbor’s yard. #iheartvolunteerplants

There was also a lot of pickin’ going on — raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, peas… I’m sunburnt, tired and happy now.

I keep thinking I’m going to get organized and start a gardening file, so we don’t have to keep saying, What is that plant, anyway? Is it annual? Perennial? The one that starts one year and blossoms the next and then croaks? (Bi-… bi-… bi-something plants.) (Biennial. Duh.)

Yeah, turns out I am not that organized, so I’ll put it all here, instead. Lists, lists, lists. Enjoy your weekend, wherever you are.

– wm

frogger

May 11th, 2012

Mr. Frog

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

I was showing off the yard to Steve — I watered everything today and did some weeding. The lipstick-pink peonies are blooming like mad, the raspberries are taking off and the strawberries are covered with white blossoms. The snowball bushes, day lilies, Japanese iris, herbs — everything is so happy and green and sparkly. May in Oregon is a beautiful thing.

We were admiring the chicks & hens, tiny ferns and succulents that are rooting in the rock wall, and saw this guy peeking out. That wall is like looking into apartment building windows, checking in on everyone. His friend, who was even tinier, was peeking out of the apartment window below. Too hard to get a good pic of him, though, so this one will have to do.

#iheartpacifictreefrogs

Happy weekend, everybody, and as we head into the summer season, remember:

You wave at clowns in parades; you don’t marry ‘em and let ‘em run your life.

xo

wm

planning for spring

January 25th, 2012

Under the lily pad

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

January: Write and dream about plants.

February: Plant peas, garlic? onions? Prune roses, plant two daphnes out front, move the Japanese maple so it has more space. We’ll do “lasagna layering” — spread out a thin layer or two of newspapers over the grass we want gone, spread compost/mulch on top of that, then plant. Then remember to water, once the rain stops. We’ll be good until July ;) We live in western Oregon, after all.

March: Hanging baskets? Naw, too early. Primroses in pots.

April: Get good and fed up with the rain.

May: Hanging baskets, plant garden, watch it get soggy and drown.

June: Re-plant garden.

July: water, weed, pick, water, weed, pick

August: repeat

September: repeat

wish list: foxglove, coral bells, clematis, wisteria, snapdragons, crocus, daffodils, lilacs, Roses of Sharon, Sweet William, bleeding hearts, more columbine, hellebores, more tulips, more dahlias…

Crown

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

sunny day

December 5th, 2011

Christmas raspberry

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

we have raspberries in the yard that are trying to ripen. i love December in Oregon.

– wm

gratitude day 25

November 25th, 2011

grateful for the sunshine. off to work in the yard! won’t be long now until we’re planting spring peas. i’m really enjoying our herb garden, which looks like it may survive winter. parsley, sage, rosemary and two kinds of thyme! (pineapple and standard. get it? standard thyme? ha! ha! yeah i love a bad pun.) we also have lemon balm and oregano in pots. we have some ornamental oregano, too — v. pretty.

some of the herbs are in the ground, some are in pots. wasn’t sure if I was going to want to move them around or not, so we tried to stay flexible last year. I have a long rock wall with a few spots to fill in, up above. (here’s the picture from last summer. the area I need to deal w/ is to the left, above the strawberries.) the raspberries are taking over, the apple trees are a mess and may need to come down. (diseased fruit, diseased leaves — we keep treating with copper sulfate, but this could take awhile, or not be a success story at all.)

my mom is giving us a couple more hydrangeas and another snowball bush, too. now where to plant everything?

happy friday, y’all.

– wm

Recipe Club: Composed Ratatouille & Roasted Beets

August 22nd, 2011

Great dinner on a hot summer night.

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